The first week returning to work after the holiday is so hard! I feel like this was the longest week ever. I wish I was one of those people that gets restless on a vacation, and then just kills it the first week back. Mmm nope. But the vacation is always worth it, isn’t it (…that was not a question).
I do however, feel inspired to get in the spirit of eating healthier for the new year. So I made a healthy, but super delicious snack; Healthy Almond Granola Bars. I just can’t do healthy snacks that don’t taste good! Life is too short.
I don’t really enjoy a crispy granola bar, so these are chewy and soft, but stay together well because of the dates. They don’t take long to make and use just 5 ingredients (plus sea salt). For me, I had most of these ingredients already in my pantry/ refrigerator.
- 1 cup Raw Almonds
- 1½ cups Rolled Oats
- 1 cup Packed Dates
- ¼ cup Honey
- ⅓ cup Creamy Almond Butter
- Sea Salt (to taste)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a large, rimmed baking sheet with tin foil. Add the almonds and the oats, and spread them out evenly. Bake them for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and toasted.
- While the almonds and oats are toasting, place the dates into the bowl of a food processor. Process dates for about 1 minutes or so, until the dates form a 'dough' (they basically roll into one giant ball).
- Combine almonds, oats and dates into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Add honey and almond butter into a microwave-safe bowl and mix well. Microwave at about 75% power for 30 seconds at a time, mixing in between segments. Continue heating until mixture is smooth and pourable consistency.
- Pour honey/ almond butter mixture over oat mixture. Sprinkle with a little sea salt (or regular table salt). Stir up mixture, being sure to break up dates as much as possible.
- Spray an 8" x 8" dish with nonstick spray (and/ or line the bottom and sides with parchment paper, letting a few inches hang over each side).
- Transfer mixture to prepared dish and press down firmly, trying to make the top as flat as possible, and releasing any holes/ air pockets (a firm, large metal spatula works well). Sprinkle the top with a little more sea salt, if desired.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, up to overnight. Either cut into 10 even-sized bars inside the pan, or remove it and cut them on a cutting board.